Friday, May 31, 2013

Indexes to Virginia Court Records

If you have ancestors from Virginia, you might want to take a look at this page regarding Chancery records from Virginia--currently 220,000 cases are indexed

Friday, May 24, 2013

US Patent Office Patents at Google

Did your ancestor obtain a patent for an invention? Google's patent search may help you to locate the document at

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Does FamilySearch Have It All?

In a word, the answer is no. There may still be more information elsewhere even in databases at FamilySearch that have images. One quick example is the Kentucky County Marriages 1797-1954. The description indicates that these entries are extracted from marriage registers, bonds, etc. Even in a county that appears to be "done," there may be more records. Mercer County's marriage register is included in the index-which is helpful. However there are also marriage bonds for that county which do not appear in Kentucky County Marriages, 1797-1954. Those marriage bonds are something you need to see. Only looking at the image of the register is not enough.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Digital Library of American Slavery

The Digital Library of American Slavery indexes thousands of petitions and court documents that directly or indirectly involve slaves. Your enslaved relative or your slaving owning relative may be located in this index.

Images of the documents are not included, but the index is invaluable.

Blank Agricultural Census Forms

These pages, located on the United States Bureau of the Census website, provide information on United States agricultural census from 1850-1900.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Was Your Ancestor a Member of the Brethren Church?

There are digital scans of nearly 750 items from the Brethren church archives on

From the index page:

The Mission of the Brethren Digital Archives is to digitize some or all of the periodicals produced from the beginning of publication to the year 2000 by each of the Brethren bodies who trace their origin to the baptism near Schwarzenau, Germany in 1708.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013

US Pension Indexes Online at FamilySearch

I received this summary of military pension indexes that are online from the lady who obtains copies of things for me from the National Archives. I thought I'd pass it along to blog readers:


All of the pension files noted on these indexes can be scanned from the original documents at NARA DC with the exception of the Revolutionary War.  Those files are on microfilm--originals cannot be scanned.

The items online at FamilySearch--which is what these links are for--are finding aids only, not the actual records.


WAR OF 1812 - The FGS volunteers are working to scan the 1812 pensions in color and they are being put on Fold3 (for free--through "D" as of this post) and are free without a subscription.

"OLD WARS" (1815-1926):

INDIAN WARS (1817 to 1898):


CIVIL WAR - Besides the soldiers, this also includes Navy pension cards, which are difficult to read.  The cards turned very dark when they were microfilmed, because the person doing the filming had the machine set to scan white cards that had the soldiers' pensions and did not adjust the machine for the blue sailors' pension cards:

SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR - The Civil War index (above) is for claims filed up to about 1930.  It includes many Spanish-American War pension cards.  The cards look the same as the Civil War, but any veterans of the SA War will have a tiny little letter handwritten "s" beside the word "invalid" next to where the application number is written.